Canton Estate Planning
The Farrell Law Firm is dedicated to providing Canton residents with tailor-made Wills, Trusts, and Powers of Attorney. Selecting a Canton Estate Planning attorney could be one of the most important decisions you make. The right lawyer can mean the difference between a successful distribution of your estate and significant loss of your estate to probate lawyer fees.
Note: If you want to brush up on the basics of Georgia estate planning (Wills, Probate, Power of Attorney, Revocable Trusts, Irrevocable Trusts and Advanced Healthcare Directives) take a look at these free ebooks.
Here are a few factors to consider in hiring an experienced Canton estate planning attorney:
Tailor-Made Estate Plans
You, your family, and your legacy are unique. Whether you are planning for long-term care, providing for a special needs child, or preserving your children’s inheritance, find an attorney who can craft the individualized estate planning strategy you need. Don’t go to someone who also practices business law, family law, or some other branch of law while doing estate planning on the side.
Find a lawyer who never uses a cookie-cutter approach for resolving matters of probate or Medicare planning, or resorts to using a rote formula for writing up your estate plan. The estate planning attorney should tailor each estate plan to your specific goals, whether that includes ensuring you can afford a nursing home, take care of a special needs child, protect your child’s inheritance after a divorce, and more.
Referred by others
You should see what others have to say about the lawyer. You should use one that has been referred by, at least, hundreds of people. Visit the lawyer’s website and see if hundreds or thousands of others have had great things to say about the lawyer. There is no greater way to evaluate a lawyer than what others have had to say about him or her and their services.
Regularly writes or speaks about estate planning
By working with an attorney who regularly writes or speaks about estate planning, you’ll see an attorney who is on top of changes in estate planning laws. As an example, I’ve written a couple of different books on estate planning. One is tailored for a Georgia audience and is titled Estate Planning for the Modern Family: A Georgian’s guide to Wills, Trusts, and Powers of Attorney. The other is similarly named and ranked as a # 1 new release on Amazon. Additionally, I routinely hold seminars to educate the public on important estate planning topics such as how to protect your home and family from the Probate Court.
Our mission is to ensure you have the knowledge, resources, and legal documentation needed to preserve and pass down your legacy. We will work one-on-one with you to tailor an estate planning strategy to you and your unique needs and in the future when you need to make updates or modifications. We are dedicated to helping you find peace of mind and take care of your loved ones.
Do you need an Estate Plan?
Everyone has an estate. Your estate includes all the things you own – your home, your car, your bank accounts, digital photos and your music collection.
Many people think of estate plans as something only wealthy families have. In reality, every Canton resident can benefit from having an estate plan, whether you have a large estate or a modest one.
What exactly is included in an estate plan? Of course, there is the Last Will and Testament, but a solid estate plan should also include provisions for your financial and medical care should you become ill, tactics to reduce estate taxes and probate fees for your family, funeral preferences, guardian preferences for any minor children …and more.
Even if you already have an estate plan, it’s important to review it to make sure all documents are current, legally binding, and still reflect your goals.
Here are a few steps to illustrate what is involved in creating a complete and comprehensive estate plan:
Define your Estate Planning Goals:
It is a good idea to begin your estate plan by identifying exactly what it is you want to accomplish. Of course, you’ll want to make sure that your property and assets are properly distributed upon your passing.
List the things that are important to you and refer to this list as you plan your estate.
Inventory your Estate Assets
Next, you will want to list what things of value will be left behind should you become incapacitated or pass away.
Choose your Beneficiaries
List the individuals in your life whom you want to receive a portion of your estate upon your passing. Beneficiaries may be individuals like your spouse and children, or they can be a corporation or nonprofit organization.
Prepare your Will
We can all take a lesson from the late musician “Prince,” whose unexpected death caught the world off-guard. As you may know, Prince had an estimated estate worth approximately $200 million. Unfortunately, because Prince didn’t have even a basic estate plan, up to 50% of that $200 million could go to the government.
Perhaps he wanted to leave a portion to charity or to avoid as much in taxes as possible. Maybe he would have preferred to keep his net worth private. All of this could have been accomplished had he initiated some basic estate planning.
Of course, not all of us have a $200 million estate, but some things (like children) are worth even more. No matter how wealthy or poor, young or old, everyone should at least have a Will in place.
Estate Planning is the process for arranging, while you are alive, for the management and distribution of your assets upon your passing, among other things.
Estate Planning can allow you to pass on your assets to where you want them to go instead of it being decided by the Court. It can also help you reduce or eliminate any estate taxes your family may have to pay when you pass away. Estate Planning can also allow you to name a guardian for your minor children. It can also help prevent confusion and disputes among your family when you pass away. Estate Planning has many benefits.
Your estate will consist of any assets you have in your name when you pass away. This typically includes things like your home, your car, certain investments, personal items such as furniture, or collections such as art or stamps. What it doesn’t typically include are things like life insurance policies, IRA’s, and 401(k)’s.
Every estate plan should include a Last Will and Testament, a financial power of attorney, and an Advance Directive for Health Care. A more sophisticated estate plan may include a trust, such as a Revocable Living Trust.